Crime - Sacto 911

Teenager shot at party near Rocklin was former Cosumnes Oaks football player

Photo illustration
Photo illustration

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in solving a shooting that killed a teenager early Saturday outside of Rocklin.

The teen was identified as 18-year-old Roderick Donell Totton, of Elk Grove.

Totton, who goes by the nickname Rod on several social media accounts, played fullback and middle linebacker for the Cosumnes Oaks High School varsity football team for the 2015-2016 season, according to his profile on Hudl, a sports video analysis website. Before that, he spent two years on the junior varsity team.

Totton’s father, who also goes by Rod Totton, was the head coach of the junior varsity football team for the 2015-16 season, a school web page shows. Efforts to reach him and other family members Saturday morning were not returned.

Deputies responded to a call Friday night just past midnight about a man who had been shot at a party on Tinker Road, in a commercial business complex in unincorporated Placer County, said sheriff’s public information Officer Dena Erwin.

The scene was “chaotic” when officers arrived, Erwin said, with “people fleeing for safety.” Deputies found Totton outside the party, injured by a gunshot wound. He was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he died.

Mateo Verdugo, a Cosumnes Oaks High senior, said he’s known Totton since the two were freshmen at the school. Totton was one of four sons in his family, raised by a father who was very involved in his children’s sports, Verdugo said.

He and Totton played football together and sometimes spent several nights at each other’s houses. That included Friday night, where he last saw Totton leaving his mother’s home a few hours before the shooting took place, he said.

“He said ‘All right, I’ll be back in a few hours,” Verdugo said. “That wasn’t true.”

Verdugo said Totton had been expelled from the school a few months after the start of their senior year and was enrolled in continuation school. On May 2, Sacramento Superior Court records show felony gun possession charges were filed against the teen, one of which led to a no-contest plea. Verdugo said he didn’t know much about who Totton was with or what happened after he arrived at Tinker Road on Friday.

“It’s definitely crazy,” Verdugo said. “The way I try to look at it is that he’s in a much better place right now. I feel like a lot of people try to see him in a negative perspective and that’s the reason why he gets such a bad image.”

Erwin said the party, which had been promoted on social media, had a large number of guests. Detectives would like to speak to witnesses or anyone with information regarding the shooting or possible suspects.

Tipsters should call Detective Scott Alford at 530-889-7844. Anonymous tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest. They should contact Placer County Crime Stoppers at 800-923-8191 or online at .

This story was changed at 3 p.m. Monday to specify that the location was in unincorporated Placer County and not in Rocklin.

Cynthia Hubert: 916-321-1082, @Cynthia_Hubert